Gov. Jerry Brown’s 65 Easter pardons include murderer
by Paige St. John
Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday continued a pattern of pardons tied to Christian religious days, granting clemency to 65 convicted criminals, including a Los Angeles man who spent 15 years in prison for a 1977 murder conviction.
Brown’s pardon of Robert Phillip Brown provided no details of the convict’s crime, nor his case for clemency, other than to say the man had obtained a Superior Court order last year testifying that since release from prison, “he has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen.”
The governor also gave clemency to Francisco Nunes, who served two years in prison for a 1996 involuntary manslaughter conviction in San Diego County, and James Vercillino, convicted of vehicular manslaughter in 1987 in Santa Clara County.
The remaining pardons involve drug-related convictions.
Brown granted 128 pardons in 2012, up from 21 his first year in office, and surpassing the 16 pardons and 10 commuted sentences that his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed in seven years in office. Seventy-nine of Brown’s 2012 pardons were announced on Christmas Eve. Saturday’s press release announcing the latest batch of pardons tied them to “the eve of Easter.”
As a young man, Brown spent four years in a Jesuit seminary studying to be a Catholic priest.